Tuna is a staple food in the Maldives, and waters surrounding Komandoo Maldives have an abundant supply thanks to the sustainable fishing methods used in our island nation.
World Tuna Day, celebrated annually on 2nd May, aims to highlight the importance of tuna in the marine ecosystem and the need to ensure fishing practices are sustainable, and although they are here in the Maldives, the same is not true in many other places worldwide.
Maldivians have been practising the art of pole and line tuna fishing for centuries with skills passed down through the generations. The group of fishermen line up at the back of the dhoni boat, casting their rods with barbless hooks into the water where baitfish have been thrown to create the illusion of prey for the tuna and so luring them in. Once the fishermen feel feel a bite, they quickly swing the pole overhead and the tuna crashes onto the deck behind them, repeating this for hours at a time, catching one tuna at a time. Due to each fish being individually caught, the chance of accidental bycatch is very rare, keeping our turtles, sharks and other species safe. Pole and line fishing, as practised here in the Maldives poses no threat to the environment but the method is not widespread in other nations due to it being very labour-intensive, requiring a lot of skill and time.
It is vitally important to prevent the overfishing of tuna worldwide in order to preserve the marine ecosystem where the delicate balance of nature can easily be destroyed. Tuna are both predators and prey, they eat smaller fish and invertebrates and are also a food source for larger marine life, such as sharks and whales. If predator and prey populations are not kept in check, entire food chains can become unbalanced and lead to the eventual loss of many other species. By preventing overfishing, not only do we protect the marine ecosystems, we safeguard tuna supplies for the future. You can help by ensuring the tuna you eat is sustainably caught, preferably by the pole and line method.
Look out for locally caught tuna on our menus and on the buffet tables at Komandoo, and to gain a fascinating insight into the tuna industry here in the Maldives, book a visit to the atoll’s tuna factory. Tuna are regular seen by our scuba divers too, swimming effortlessly in even the strongest of currents, these big silver fish look like torpedos in the water!